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The relationship between income and food insecurity : the role of social support in rural and urban Oregonians

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dc.contributor.advisor Thorburn, Sheryl
dc.creator De Marco, Molly M.
dc.date.accessioned 2007-08-01T16:17:30Z
dc.date.available 2007-08-01T16:17:30Z
dc.date.copyright 2007-07-19
dc.date.issued 2007-08-01T16:17:30Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1957/6239
dc.description Graduation date: 2008
dc.description.abstract Millions of U.S. households experienced hunger in 2005 and millions more experienced food insecurity. Previous research indicates that low-wage work and little social support contribute to food insecurity. Research also suggests that individuals cope by finding alternate food sources and drawing on social support. Further, researchers have found that rural residents face difficulties that many urbanites do not, including lack of living-wage jobs, transportation, and nutrition assistance. However, rural dwellers may possess support they can leverage in difficult times. This study used mixed methods (i.e., quantitative and qualitative) to examine whether social support moderates the relationship between income and food insecurity and whether place of residence affects social support. First, a mail survey was conducted with a stratified random sample of Oregonians (n=343, 34.4% response rate). Subsequently, qualitative interviews (n = 25) were conducted with low-income or food insecure survey respondents to provide insight into these issues. Quantitative results indicate that lower income respondents were more likely to experience food insecurity. In general, social support did not moderate the relationship between income and food insecurity. When income was categorized using poverty guidelines, however, results suggested that emotional support, social network support, and organization membership may moderate this relationship. Specifically, respondents with incomes of ≤$19,999 were less likely to experience food insecurity in the presence of this support. However, small sample sizes in the ≤$19,999 income category resulted in unstable estimates of odds ratios (e.g., 4136.79). When income was recategorized to remedy this, the moderation disappeared. Additionally, place of residence had a significant association with only one social support measure, social network density. Rural respondents had less dense social networks than urban respondents. Place of residence was not a significant predictor of amount of social support via multivariate analysis. Several food insecurity contributors emerged from the qualitative study phase including ill health, unemployment, and having other expenses. Participants cited coping strategies such as use of alternate food sources, use of nutrition assistance, and drawing on social support. Although few significant quantitative results were found, qualitative findings suggest that developing nutrition interventions that build social support may lead to reduced food insecurity. en
dc.format.extent 843031 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.subject food insecurity en
dc.subject social support en
dc.subject.lcsh Hunger -- Oregon en
dc.subject.lcsh Income -- Oregon en
dc.subject.lcsh Rural poor -- Food -- Oregon en
dc.subject.lcsh Urban poor -- Food -- Oregon en
dc.subject.lcsh Rural poor -- Services for -- Oregon en
dc.subject.lcsh Urban poor -- Services for -- Oregon en
dc.subject.lcsh Human services -- Oregon en
dc.title The relationship between income and food insecurity : the role of social support in rural and urban Oregonians en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D.) in Public Health en
dc.degree.level Doctoral en
dc.degree.discipline Health and Human Sciences en
dc.degree.grantor Oregon State University en
dc.contributor.committeemember Bernell, Stephanie
dc.contributor.committeemember Cramer, Lori
dc.contributor.committeemember Raab, Carolyn
dc.contributor.committeemember Weber, Bruce

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